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Russia calls for simultaneous ceasefire in Syria

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Russia calls for simultaneous ceasefire in Syria

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Kofi Annan is awaiting a response from Syria to his proposals to end the bloodshed across the country.

After meeting the president at the weekend, the UN-Arab League envoy has been talking to the opposition Syrian National Council.

There has been no indication, however, his initiative will lead to a breakthrough. That can only come according to Russia’s Foreign Minister if Syrian government forces and their opponents stop the violence at the same time.

“This must be simultaneous, there can’t be a situation where the government is called on to withdraw from towns and cities but not armed groups,” said Sergei Lavrov at a news conference after talks with his Filipino counterpart.

Meanwhile, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has set a date for multiple party parliamentary elections.

The May 7 poll will be the first under the new constitution approved by last month’s referendum which has been rejected by those who have joined the uprising.